Can Braces Correct Overbites and Underbites?

Do you have an overbite and underbite? Are you unsure if you have an overbite or underbite but know you don’t like how your smile looks or how your jaw functions? Are you wondering if braces can help you fix your smile concerns? The Freedman & Haas Orthodontics team would love to help you answer all your questions! But before we tell you how to fix underbites and overbites, we must first answer a few questions, including, “What is an overbite?” and “What is an underbite?”

Overbite Vs. Underbite

Overbites and underbites are two types of bite misalignments, also known as malocclusions. A malocclusion occurs if the upper and lower rows of teeth don’t align perfectly when the jaw is closed. 

Imagine if someone invites you to a housewarming party. You and your friends want to bring a gift to contribute to the new home, but you don’t know what to get. You know they have a particular design aesthetic, but that doesn’t help narrow down the options, does it? There are many different types of design styles out there, like modern, traditional, contemporary, farmhouse, etc. Think of malocclusion as the umbrella term, like if someone said they liked interior design. We don’t know what kind of interior design they have, so we don’t know how their home looks. Overbites, underbites, and the other following misalignments are malocclusions, each with distinct “design” differences.

  • Overbite: When the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth significantly, it’s called an overbite. 
  • Underbite: Opposite of an overbite, an underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude forward in front of the upper teeth. 
  • Crossbite: This happens when some upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. 
  • Open Bite: An open bite is when there’s a noticeable gap between the upper and lower teeth while biting down.
  • Crowding or Spacing: When teeth have too little or too much space between them, it’s called crowding or gaps/spacing, respectively. 
  • Deep bite: When your upper front teeth come down too far over your bottom front teeth when you close your jaw, that’s a deep bite. Essentially, it’s an excessive overbite.

Can Braces Correct Overbites and Underbites?

Why Is It So Important To Straighten Teeth?

Before we discuss how braces can help to correct the bite issues mentioned above, let’s continue to talk about malocclusions. Now that you know what crossbites, deep bites, underbites, overbites, crowding, spacing, and open bites are (our misalignment “design styles”), we want to tell you how improperly arranged teeth can affect your quality of life.

Sticking with the design metaphor, you know how you walk into a space that doesn’t feel quite right? Or how challenging it can be if the organization of an area is stressful or unhelpful? Or when you don’t want to invite someone over because your home or room is messy? Like spaces that aren’t meticulously tailored to your needs, malocclusions are “bad” bites because they can cause discomfort, decrease the function (of the teeth and jaw), be “messy” looking, and unclean. More specifically, misaligned teeth can:

  • Hurt Your Oral Health: Like a cluttered shelf, misaligned teeth are challenging to clean, leading to decreased oral hygiene and health. If you cannot thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, you have a higher risk of gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues. Alternatively, gaps in teeth can collect bacteria, plaque, and food (like the crevice between the fridge and wall), which will eat away at your teeth.
  • Cost You Time & Money: Like renovating a property, addressing oral health concerns can be costly and time-consuming! If you’re more prone to things like cavities or gum disease due to your alignment, you’re likely to spend more time and money at the dentist renovating your smile and less time and money on doing things you love! 
  • Downgrade Your Digestive System: Have you ever tried to use a kitchen where the layout of the sink, stove, fridge, dishwasher, and pantry didn’t make any sense? It was annoying and maybe even hard, wasn’t it? In the same fashion, misalignments can make using your teeth and jaw to bite into and chew food difficult, increasing your risk of choking, heartburn, bloating, acid reflux, insufficient nutrient intake (in severe cases), TMD, and food getting stuck in the digestive tract. 
  • Hurt Your Mental Health: There are plenty of reasons why a house or smile might be in disarray, and it’s not always the owner’s fault. Like how a dirty home can make you self-conscious, you might be equally stressed by an unhealthy, misaligned smile. This negative perception of your grin can damage your confidence and mental health by tainting your self-image and self-worth. It can also cause smile-related anxiety in social situations. 
  • Bad First Impressions: Again, a house or smile might not be in top-notch condition for various reasons. However, and unfortunately, the condition of homes and smiles is often used to make assumptions about people. Both poor housekeeping and improper alignments can create a subpar first impression. Straighter smiles are associated with caring about your health and hygiene and give others the assumption that you are happy and successful. Giving a good first impression can be crucial in various aspects of life, including job interviews, making new friends, and dating. 

As you can see, having a functional, glowing smile that you’re proud to show off can significantly impact your quality of life. Fortunately, we can help.

So, How Can Braces Correct Bite Issues?

At Freedman & Haas Orthodontics, we proudly offer multiple orthodontic treatments to help as many people in West Palm Beach and Wellington construct the smile of their dreams as possible. Among those options are traditional metal braces, Damon System self-ligating metal braces (traditional braces without colorful bands), and clear braces (tooth-colored brackets and bands for a clear, aesthetically pleasing appearance).

Even though clear braces, traditional metal braces, and Damon self-ligating braces look slightly different, they work in a similar fashion. The wire applies pressure, and the brackets distribute that pressure, causing the teeth to move. Underneath the service, a process called bone remodeling takes place, which essentially disassembles and reassembles the bone like a highly proficient moving crew. That’s how we rearrange the teeth.

To align your upper jaw with your lower, we’ll give you rubber bands to attach to your upper and lower brackets or wire. Follow Dr. Freedman’s or Dr. Haas’s instructions on how to wear these bands! You want to do it just right so that your jaws will align perfectly at the end of treatment.

Can Invisalign Fix Underbite?

Of course, Invisalign can fix an underbite! Invisalign can correct an overbite, too, as well as the other common misalignments. They also work by applying pressure to the teeth, except instead of brackets and wires, they use transparent, removable trays. Invisalign clear aligners even support bands for jaw repositioning. 

Clear aligners can help with mild to moderate bite issues, but if you have a more complex case, such as a severe underbite, you should consider fixed braces instead.


Can Braces Correct Overbites and Underbites?

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Freedman & Haas Orthodontics Today!

Which treatment method—clear braces, metal braces, or clear aligners—is best for you depends on many factors, such as misalignment type and severity, age, oral health, and more. To get your personalized treatment plan from our board-certified orthodontists, book a free smile consultation with us in West Palm Beach or Wellington! We can’t wait to join you on your journey to straight teeth!